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Part of National Lottery Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 3rd November 2005.

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Photo of Richard Caborn Richard Caborn Minister of State (Sport), Department for Culture, Media & Sport 2:00 pm, 3rd November 2005

That is one explanation. I could tell the hon. Gentleman that I once did a bit of climbing and mountaineering. I have some good stories, but I shall not be drawn on them.

Some media interests that support other good causes might find grants made to ambulance services, rescue groups and the Samaritans, as well as other community and charity projects, to be controversial. They might consider them to affect the lottery’s reputation. It will be impossible to decide, and that is why the people appointed to the distributing bodies have been given sufficient direction from Parliament to ensure that they maintain the lottery’s integrity.

The hon. Member for East Dunbartonshire indicated that we live in a pluralist society, and the range and nature of projects funded by the lottery should reflect the condition of our society. We need to respond to people’s priorities, but we do not want to sink to the bottom and go to the lowest common denominator. We always need to drive for the highest common factor. The lottery must be inclusive while keeping the confidence of lottery players elsewhere. We do not believe that the proposed new clause would achieve that; it would merely create legal uncertainty and prevent good projects being funded. For that reason, I ask that the proposed new clause be withdrawn.